QUESTIONS & RESPONSES

FEBRUARY 2012

 

 

02/22/12    Did you err in saying that ALL Christians have the heavenly hope? (Are there 2 groups with                     different hopes Matthew 25:30-35,40,46)

 

 

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On February 22, 2012, we received the following comment:

    “There are errors in your writing about a heavenly hope for all Christians today, the reason for that is that Jesus Christ told us, you can only get into the kingdom of God, only if you were born again of the Spirit.  John 3:5.  Today only a few are born of the spirit.
    
    “2.      Only 144,000 are redeemed from the earth, the revelation 14:1-3.
    
    “3.    Those who are born again are spiritual Jews, Romans 2:29.  Many decided to join the spiritual Jews, Zechariah 8:23.  They are the ones that Jesus Christ gives eternal life, Matthew 25:40, 46.
    
    “4.    In Matthew 25:46 they called the righteous and the righteous would own the earth and live on earth forever, Psalm 37:29.
    
    “5.    They had helped the brothers of Jesus (the anointed), it is clear that there is therefore 2 groups with different hopes, Matthew 25:35-40.”

   To the author of the comments, we first want to thank you for taking the time to visit our site and share your comments. It takes courage to put your thoughts out into the internet, and it manifests a conviction in your heart that you are determined to “make sure of all things.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) With that in mind, we respond to your comments as follows:    

 

    To your first comment: “There are errors in your writing about a heavenly hope for all Christians today, the reason for that is that Jesus Christ told us, you can only get into the kingdom of God, only if you were born again of the Spirit.  John 3:5.  Today only a few are born of the spirit.”    

 

    We agree with you that in order to get into the kingdom of God, you must be born again of the Spirit. See Letter No. 4 of Observing the Oneness of the Faith.  In fact, the purpose of this site is to help persons see that they are indeed sons of God and heirs to the kingdom of the heavens.  Once they awaken to their true hope, they will be born again – born of the spirit – and receive the token of the spirit in their hearts (2 Corinthians 1:22).    

 

    However, we wonder how you reach the conclusion that “Today only a few are born of the spirit.”  Perhaps it is based on the number of partakers that are reflected in the Society’s year end report.  If so, we encourage you to keep your eyes open.  That number will increase, and we hope to see it increase exponentially as more and more of the “earthly class” recognize their true relationship with Jehovah.      

 

    To your second comment:  “Only 144,000 are redeemed from the earth, the revelation 14:1-3.”    

 

   First, we do not dispute that 144,000 will serve as kings and priests in heaven. (See The Royal Priesthood and the Holy Nation, Letter No. 5.) However, we encourage you to look again at the scriptures at Revelation 14:1-3.  It does refer to “the hundred and forty-four thousand, who have been bought from the earth,” but it does not say that ONLY 144,000 are bought from the earth. And look at verse 4, it identifies that certain group as “firstfruits.”  Think about this: if there are “firstfruits” that go to heaven, could there be “second fruits” that also go?  And notice in verse 1 that the scene takes place on the top of a mountain.  Are we to assume that the mountain represents the entire heavens? The point is, the Bible does not specifically state the total number who go to heaven, only that 144,000 of them will serve as kings and priests.     

 

    As to your third comment: “Those who are born again are spiritual Jews, Romans 2:29.  Many decided to join the spiritual Jews, Zechariah 8:23.  They are the ones that Jesus Christ gives eternal life, Matthew 25:40, 46.”    

 

    Again, we do not dispute that those who are born again are referred to as spiritual Jews or spiritual Israel.  (See "The Royal Priesthood and the Holy Nation, Letter No. 5".) Your reference to Zechariah 8:23 is instructive.  It establishes that gentiles will join with Jews in serving God.  Is that not what has happened in the Christian congregation?  The founding members of the Christian congregation were fleshy Jews who were baptized in water and spirit, thus, becoming spiritual Jews.  Then the preaching turned to the gentile nations who were also baptized in water and spirit.  And since, as Zechariah says, they are “taking hold of the skirt” of a Jew, does not that indicate they will be following these spiritual Jews wherever they are going – into the heavens?  Finally, we also agree with you that Matthew 25:40 and 46 states that Jesus will give righteous persons everlasting life.  But look again at that scripture.  Does it say everlasting life on earth?  No, it does not.    

 

    As to your fourth comment: “In Matthew 25:46 they called the righteous and the righteous would own the earth and live on earth forever, Psalm 37:29.”    

 

    Again, we do not dispute that the righteous will live forever on earth.  (See Observing the Oneness of the Faith, Letter No. 5.)  But we encourage you to re-examine both Matthew 25:46 and Psalm 37:29.  Do you see any language that says that each individual righteous person would live forever on the earth?  No, you do not.  It simply refers to “the righteous” as a group.  And we agree that at some point in the future, the entire planet will be inhabited with only righteous people – as a group.  God has greater plans for us as individuals.  

 

“Eye has not seen and ear has not heard, neither have there been conceived in the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” 

– 1 Corinthians 2:9

 

    As to your fifth and final comment: “They had helped the brothers of Jesus (the anointed), it is clear that there is therefore 2 groups with different hopes, Matthew 25:35-40.”    

 

    We agree that Matthew 25:35-40 speaks of two groups with two different destinies, but we would hardly refer to them as two hopes.  The ones on his right would “inherit the kingdom.”  That is the heavenly hope for the “righteous ones.”  However, the ones on the left go into “everlasting cutting-off.”  That is death.  So the two destines referred to in that scripture are life and death, not everlasting life in heaven and everlasting life on earth.   

 

    We hope we have adequately responded to your comments.  It is possible that you have not read through the entire site.  If not, we encourage you to do so.      

 

    We know that the good news that all Christians are sons of God and therefore have a heavenly destiny is difficult for some to accept.  But that is what the Bible teaches. Perhaps these two scriptures will be of some comfort:

 

“Keep your minds fixed on the things above, not on the things of the earth.

– Colossians 3:2

 

“Forgetting the things behind and stretching forward to the things ahead.  I am pursuing down toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God by means of Christ Jesus.  Let us, then, as many of us as are mature, be of this mental attitude; and if you are mentally inclined otherwise in any respect, God will reveal the above [attitude] to you.” 

– Philippians 3:13-15

 

    Yes, pray on these thoughts, and the Spirit of Truth will confirm these truths to you.      

 

    If you have been attracted to this site, you are likely one of the anointed sons of the kingdom, in line for a glorious future!  If not, you have no doubt had the baptism of water.  Pray now for the token of the spirit.  And may the God of all peace be with you.

 

“Elaia Luchnia”

      

  

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